First hospital job in Bismarck (from out of state)

  1. Hello all,

    Similarly to many stories shared here, I was offered a position at St. Alexius in Bismarck (they are finishing up the background check -- I don't anticipate any issues).

    I'll introduce myself a bit in hopes I find other transplants and friendly locals at St. A's. The initial isolation of being transplanted means I will need to make effort to find friends, as I am generally introverted, though nice and friendly. I am open to friends of all age groups, races, ethnicity, etc. I would love to practice and improve my Spanish, as I studied abroad in Spain. I speak it well enough but I'm not fluent yet.

    When I was in undergrad, I was interested in elder care and psych. My first job was at a SNF/LTC but my floor was comprised of people who were just discharged from the hospital (post-acute care). This would be similar to the TCU at St. A's. I had a mix of ortho, post CHF exacerbation, COPD, and complex situations like post op bowel resection for cancer, Alzheimers, and various other comorbidities. I also occasionally had hospice patients.

    I was lucky to accept a position in a state psych facility about a year and a half afterwards, but I found out psych really wasn't for me and I felt like I would lose my skills. Like many new(er) grads, my area is saturated with nurses and despite my best efforts I usually got automatic rejections for hospital positions. Sometimes I would get to the second, third, or "shadow" interview, but rarely. I realize from talking to others that this is simply the way things are here as they get 10's or even 100's of applications to nursing positions. Even the positions that are new-grad friendly often get applications from experienced med-surg nurses.

    For now, I am working in private duty nursing (a wonderful break from forensic psych). But again I am feeling the urge to get that acute care experience.

    I am very grateful that St. A is giving me a chance and I empathize with their geographic/logistical issue. Thus I promise to stay with them a bit over a year because I want to make sure they get a return on their investment since they are giving me a chance without meeting me in person. Based on my interactions so far, I have no reason to doubt the validity of the information others have shared with me (Pay, benefits, adequate training, professionalism of staff, etc.).

    I am very concerned with finding adequate housing, preferably within the Bismarck city limits and close to the hospital. I do have a car however and I am okay with a commute as long as it is less than or equal to about 30 minutes. Unfortunately due to my situation with my spouse, I am probably not a good candidate for a roommate. We are both night-owls (wake up evening and stay awake all night... even on nights off), and light sleepers which means that any roommate who functions even a little bit on days would not be suitable.

    Unfortunately from almost everything I see---- rents for a not-so-special 1 BR are about $800-900 per month.

    Also due to the unpredictability of things, I would prefer a monthly contract or no longer than a 6 month lease. While I like to give full faith to St. A's and myself, I do realize there is a 3 month probationary period (standard at most jobs) and the possibility of being let go due to unforeseen circumstances.

    Does any local or similar transplant to Bismarck know of any word-of-mouth rentals closer to the $600-700 range? The cheaper the better. I am okay with a sketchy part of town because the city I live in has a high crime rate, so anything considered "ghetto" by ND standards would probably make me laugh. I don't require anything fancy, so a trashy efficiency apartment is fine by me as long as the heat works and I am not breathing in asbestos.

    While I will not share the wage because I have 2 years of experience, I will state that the wages and differentials quoted here are in-line and consistent with what everyone else had said. While this wage is certainly fair, the issue in North Dakota is that rental prices are about $200-400 more expensive per month than the large Midwestern city that I currently live in! Craziness.

    I have lived in Europe and in Boston in the past, so, luckily the cost of living expense is not as damaging to my psyche. In Boston $1200-1500 would get you a small studio in some parts... but the wages were also higher (perhaps not enough to make up for it though).

    While speaking with the hiring manager of my floor the topic of the oil boom came up and, generally, due to recent gas prices, it seems things are beginning to stabilize in North Dakota (at least for now). I am sure that if oil prices go back to the $3-5 per gallon mark, that the ND boom will come back in full force. It seems the trend in the state is that rent is not as ridiculous as it was in 2012-2013 ish; I'm sure a local/transplant can enlighten me.
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